Security Challenges
Volume 16, No.2 (2020)

Is Australia’s Defence Policy Right for the Times?

This paper seeks to identify some of strategic issues that need to be considered in reassessing Australia’s defence policy. While past Defence White Papers identified several such issues, these need to be re-evaluated in the context of a dynamic and complex global strategic environment. This will enable policymakers to ensure that defence policy is relevant to the future geostrategic environment and that Australia’s defence forces are sufficiently prepared for contemporary and future challenges. Currently defence policy reflects a degree of institutional bias founded on past force structure models based on Cold War precepts and a war-fighting basis. There is a pressing imperative for defence policy to be reframed to reflect the way conflict has changed, factors that have influenced that change, and the resulting contemporary non-geographic transnational security challenges that often arise from non-military sources.

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